Grizzly Bear (3 stars)

Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 9 Mar 2010

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Grizzly Bear

Photo: Queen's Hall - www.flickr.com/photos/thequeenshall

It's a rare experience when a gig leaves you feeling blissfully subdued and, even, pleasingly sleepy. Though usually I'd take it as a bad sign, the wave of lethargy that passed over me as Grizzly Bear rounded out the final vocal harmonies of their one and a half hour set was, in fact, a fitting response to a low-key evening of restrained loveliness.

Support act Beach House were as much responsible for this torpor as the headliners. Their round, warm sound filtered through the Queen's Hall crowd like a dream pop fog. The tempo never lifted, though the band evidently grew into the performance as they ground out great songs from their new album, Teen Dream.

Using the most effects pedals I have ever seen, Grizzly Bear were able to reproduce, live, the sea of reverb and echo that washes over their most recent album Veckatimest. The set showcased their supreme musicianship as they skipped between instruments, complex time signatures and many, many different vocal parts. About 15 minutes of what the band called 'taking it down' tried the limits of my attention span, but renditions of 'Two Weeks' and a duet with Beach House's Victoria Legrand on 'Slow Life' were moving, and an encore acoustic performance of 'All We Ask' brought the crowd back to life, and the gig up to a suitably sparkling standard.

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